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Wyoming Business Tips for April 8-14


April 2, 2012 — A weekly look at Wyoming business questions from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (WSBDC), part of WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.

By Greg Jordan, WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz associate state director

"Am I doing enough marketing?" Curt, Laramie

This question is asked often in many different ways.

The answer really requires first making sure that you understand the difference between marketing and sales. As a reminder, marketing is everything that you do to reach potential customers while sales are everything you do after that to close the sale and receive payment.

So how much marketing is enough? The answer lies in how many sales you need to have. That's the first real step. If you have enough sales to keep your business growing at the rate you want, then you are doing enough marketing.

But if you are falling short in sales, you need to look at your closure rate. Are you meeting as many potential customers as you can? Are they showing interest, but not writing a check? If the answer to these questions is yes, then marketing is not what you need and take a good look at your sales process.

If you have a weak sales process, then no amount of marketing will solve the problem. How do you know if you have a sales process that needs work? If your sales team (even if that team is one) has all the prospects it can handle, but isn't bringing in the money, then the sales process needs to be re-examined.

But what is most often the case is that the persons doing the sales are doing other things, like marketing, and are not actually meeting with enough clients to make sufficent sales to grow the business. Often, people in this position assume they need more marketing, more ads, more money in websites, more flyers, etc.  What they really need is more sales. What they really need is for someone to devote time directly to making sales off the people that call in; or off their prospect list and customer referrals.

It all starts with a good plan and knowing how many sales you need, and making sure you have enough people actually selling to meet that need. If you are still not sure how that works, call a business adviser in your area to help understand the sales process before putting more money into marketing.

A blog version of this article and an opportunity to post comments is available at http://www.wyomingentrepreneur.typepad.com/blog/.

The WSBDC is a partnership of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Wyoming Business Council and the University of Wyoming. To ask a question, call 1-800-348-5194, email wsbdc@uwyo.edu or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY, 82071-3922.

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